A Shattered God

Midnight Blue by L. J. Shen

Once upon a time a mere mortal fell in love with a rock god. You probably know this is not a fairytale by now. Mortals and gods don’t mix.

Midnight Blue is raw, emotive and sparkles with life.

I’m not sure who I’m more in love with British rocker Alex Winslow or L.J. Shen. Maybe Ms Shen, her writing is superlative, truly beautiful. I couldn’t stop highlighting parts of the book. Quote after quote spoke to me.

“…we’re all vases. And you’re the one scattered on the floor, shattered beyond repair. So I’ll let someone else pick you up. It’s really that simple.

Alex is so broken it’s like he can never be put back together. His hurt eeks out of him. I don’t think Indie believes for a moment she can fix him and I loved that. She saw the addict, the cruel bastard who lashes out and the boy the world thinks it owns. It hurt her (and me), but she wasn’t going to fix him. And knowing him, she didn’t intend to fall in love. But best intentions and all that.

Even though there’s not much innocent about Alex, his connection with Indie was child like. He was so curious about her, she inspired him. She seemed so shiny to him, and yet he knew he would ruin her. It was hard knowing he would do it. But that was the point at which I knew they needed each other. This wasn’t just about the broken rock star but also the grief fuelled Stardust.

The author pits the beauty of creating music, of artistically expressing yourself with the price of fame. Alex can no longer trust his life. He can’t trust anyone because they all want something. And so he fails to see love and friendship, even though it’s there. I veered between wanting to shake him or hug him.

Ms Shen’s writing is extraordinary, her characters are complex and the story is so compelling. Even for an angst ridden romance, this is far from your typical fare. I think you will love it. I know I did.

Love is the best

The Best Thing by Mariana Zapata

Ms. Zapata is queen of the slow slow burn romance. Whilst, I usually yearn for pace in a book I adore her writing style. Its easy to invest time with her characters and their stories, in part because her writing makes me feel safe and kind of exposed at the same time.

As I’ve come to expect Ms Zapata nails the characterisation brilliantly. The cast of extra characters is fantastic. The wider cast are important because whilst this is most definitely a romance, it’s also a book about family love and how we define families. The love that surrounded Lenny was beautiful, it really crystallised the task Jonah had to win her over.

“I still don’t know about that Edward”

Grandpa Gus and his vampire references stole the show! What a character! And his comments in the epilogue are a killer (Kleenex needed). Look out for rugby player Jonah explaining the finer points of the game to Americans!

I’m not going to comment on Jonah and Lenny, who are a fab couple, simply because you need to go into this book cold. There are too many spoilers about! But I will say Ms Zapata delivers so much more than just a romance. She gives us real love, the horrendous pain and the self sacrificing nature of love. It’s so powerful.

PS I’ve been off colour for some time so I’m slowly catching up with blogs on my favourite summer reading. Please bear with me.

Start your engines

Friction by Tracie Delaney (High Velocity #1)

Formula 1 – the glamour, the adrenaline, the competition, the cars, the teams – Ms Delaney nails it all. What a fabulous starter for her new Full Velocity series. It’s high octane, fast paced and hot. Yep Jared and Paisley heat up the sheets and a few other places!

Jared and Paisley are a challenging couple, not an obvious match but ultimately well-matched. They test each other quite a bit. So there’s fireworks, passion and real tenderness. You get to see them both grow a bit.

Clearly the author knows F1 well, the book benefits from some real insights into the sport and business. But if you’re not a fan, you might not realise how hot an F1 driver can be. Let Ms Delaney enlighten you!

This is a feel good, fun read. Whatever ails you put it aside for an hour or two and enjoy!

PS I’ve been off colour for some time so I’m slowly catching up with blogs on my favourite summer reading. Please bear with me.

Searching for normal

Kozart by J. Nathan

You read a rockstar romance like this one, because you want to take a step, or many steps, away from normal life. But in J. Nathan’s Kozart, said rockstar falls for the girl who provides him with normalcy.

J. Nathan’s hero exudes a jadedness that feels real but without the angst I expected. He’s worked for his success and he’s enjoyed all the trappings, yet he’s never had normal, so much so that he doesn’t realise what he craves.

The set up for this book is cracking, it’s such a sweet fun intro. Right from the start he’s a bit of an accidental hero. He saves her that night from a real humiliation and yet you know he needs saving too.

I loved the development of their relationship. If you like the slow burn you will not put this book down!

In Aubrey he has a love interest who has plenty of sass and spirit but without that hard edge. I’m starting to feel I’ve had enough of ball busting heroines.

Kozart starts off as your typical rock god, and I guess he is. And so you do have to give into creative licence a bit. J. Nathan definitely has the skill to let you do that.

It gave me all the feels, in all the right places. Wonderful

Found: one amazing read

Cement Heart by Beth Ehemann

This is my find of the year.

I was looking for a quick easy read between ARCs. I found Viper. Some days you get lucky, maybe I need to hit Vegas or at least lotto!

Ms Ehemann has the most incredible voice. It’s clear, non judgemental and so visual. It’s an extraordinary read.

Her connection to Viper is so true that even when he hits rock bottom you don’t pity him, because he wouldn’t want it. He is so unlikeably likeable, he hides his gorgeousness but it peaks out. Around him the author has created a wonderfully endearing cast, so he’s not the only star.

You might need a kleenex or a whole box.

Normally when I love a book I can’t wait to talk about it. I like to rabbit on about why I loved the characters or how true the story is. I’m not going to do that here.

Why? Because the less you know about this story, the better this read will be. Luckily the author is smart enough not to give the game away in her blurb. And believe me this is not about low expectations.

It’s made me really question the value or point of a book blurb, especially in the romance genre. You already know you’re going to get a HEA, so what’s the value of knowing so much more going in? Not thought about it before. Now I cannot stop.

Don’t be put off if you see this in the sports romance or even typical romance genre – it’s nothing of the sort.

Oh and then there’s the cover!